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University of Iowa News Release

Release: Aug. 1, 2003

Kronos' 'Nuevo,' Attracts Latin Grammy Award Nomination

The Kronos Quartet's "Nuevo" CD, featuring works commissioned and premiered by the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium, has received a Latin Grammy Award nomination as "Best Classical Album." The Latin Grammys will be awarded in the Sept. 3 ceremony, broadcast on CBS-TV.

Kronos premiered its "Nuevo" program, featuring popular and folk music styles of Mexico, at Hancher in March 2002. The subsequent CD release was also nominated for a Grammy Award in the "Best Classical Crossover Album" category.

Billboard magazine called the Kronos Quartet "the most important chamber group of the 20th century," who not only "revolutionized chamber performance, but helped to change the face of contemporary music."

The Kronos "Traveling Music," concert during Hancher's 1999-2000 Millennium Festival led to the "Kronos Caravan" CD, featuring three Hancher commissions.

A few years earlier, Hancher enabled Kronos to try out the concept of an African-theme concert. The success of that concert led to the "Pieces of Africa" CD, which became the top-selling string quartet recording of all time, and the first recording ever to simultaneously top the classical and world music charts.

Those concerts featured just a few of the many commissions and premieres that have made Hancher and Iowa major contributors to the world-wide musical phenomenon that is the Kronos Quartet.

Critic Alan Rich summarized, "Kronos simply has not, in its glorious quarter-century of exploration, invention and innovation, found the time to be bored. Nor has it left that kind of time for us happy listeners out front. As its members have redefined the substance of the string-quartet repertoire, it has also led its cheering throngs, we of the turn-away crowds and we among the ecstatic discophiles, to redefine the very nature of the chamber-music experience."

William Rubright and the late Emilie Rubright were the major local supporters of the Kronos "Nuevo" commissions and premiere, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

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KRONOS QUARTET/HANCHER -- commissions and premieres

1989 -- Assembly Required visual design, commission Kevin Volans, "The Songlines," commission

1990 -- world premieres of commissioned visual designs for Terry Riley's "Salome Dances for Peace" and George Crumb's "Black Angels"

1991 -- commission of "Mai Nozipo" by Dumisani Maraire ("Pieces of Africa" concert world premiere) Christian Marclay and Jay Cloidt commission (world premiere)

1992 -- Scott Johnson "How it Happens (Words of I.F. Stone)," commission (world premiere)

1994 -- Michelle DiBucci and Randall Wolf arrangements of music by Raymond Scott, commissions John Oswald, "Mach," commission

1995 -- Brent Michael Davids, "Tunpao Nenangpe" commission Ben Johnston arrangements of music by Harry Partch, commission

1996 -- Tan Dun, "Ghost Opera," commission PQ Phan, "Memoirs of a Lost Soul," commission (world premiere)

1998 -- Ben Johnston, arrangement of music by Harry Partch, commission

1999 -- "Traveling Music" (concert world premiere), including -- Rahul Dev Burman, arr. Osvaldo Golijov, "Tonight is the Night" (world premiere). Kayhan Kalhor, "Gallop of a Thousand Horses," commission, Hyo-Shin Na, "Song of the Beggars," commission, Alicia Svingals, "Kale Baveynen II, commission (world premiere), Aleksandra Vrebalov, "Panonia Boundless," commission

2000 -- Gabriela Ortiz, "Baalkah," commission, "Tonight is the Night" concert world premiere with Dawn Upshaw

2002 -- "Nuevo" (co-commissions and concert world premiere) Terry Riley/Donald Gurnett "Sun Rings," co-commission and world premiere)

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,